On the occasion of the 100th Anniversary of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic an official reception organized by the Embassy of Azerbaijan was held on May 28th at Hilton Tallinn Park hotel in Tallinn.
After the national anthems of Azerbaijan and Estonia were played, Ambassador Murad N. Najafbayli spoke about the significance of the Republic Day, the establishment and history of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic.
It was noted that the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic existed only 23 months but managed to do a lot during this time. Relevant laws were adopted in a short time. Azerbaijan became one of the first countries in the world to grant women equal political rights with men, including the right to vote.
Ambassador noted that the establishment of the first parliamentary and secular democratic republic in the Muslim East was declared on May 28, 1918 with the Declaration of Independence. Azerbaijan Democratic Republic had a great importance in the restoration of the national statehood traditions.
In 1991, when independence of the country was restored, Azerbaijan immediately faced huge political, economic and humanitarian challenges posing a real threat to its existence as an independent and sovereign state.
The most serious of these was military aggression of the neighbouring Armenia that resulted in the continuous occupation of 20 percent of the territory of Azerbaijan, including Nagorno-Karabakh region and seven surrounding districts. As a result of ethnic cleansing committed by Armenia, more than one million Azerbaijanis became refugees and internally displaced persons.
The UN Security Council adopted four resolutions, demanding immediate, complete and unconditional withdrawal of Armenian troops from the territory of Azerbaijan. These resolutions must be implemented and the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan must be restored.
Despite the conflict and challenges of transition to a new political system and a market economy, Azerbaijan has been able to put in place a successful development strategy and implemented necessary political and economic reforms.
This allowed Azerbaijan to strengthen the independence, improve the quality of life of its citizens and secure a dignified place for Azerbaijan in the community of nations. Political, economic and social stability are a solid basis of the successful development of Azerbaijan.
All these achievements are closely linked with the name of the National Leader of Azerbaijani people, late President Heydar Aliyev. The current successful reforms carried out by President Ilham Aliyev are the logical follow-up of the far-sighted policy of the National Leader Heydar Aliyev.
Ambassador declared that Azerbaijan has showed itself as a reliable partner with its independent policy in the international arena over the past 27 years and has made a great effort to evolve regional development, security and stability, as well as contributing to multiculturalism.
Ambassador noted that in terms of energy security, Azerbaijan has become an important country not only in the region, but also on a global scale. A lot of work has been done to implement the Southern Gas Corridor - a 40 billion USD project providing a new source of natural gas for international markets. The Caspian Sea has been connected with the Black and Mediterranean seas through pipelines. Oil and gas pipelines Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan, Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum have been built on Azerbaijan’s initiative.
Moreover, Azerbaijan, which has no access to the open seas, Azerbaijan turned into one of the transport hubs of the world peace. In this regard, the Ambassador briefed on the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway, other projects related to transport infrastructure, the launch of the largest port of the Caspian port - the Alat Port, as well as steps taken to create a North-South transport corridor.
Talking about Azerbaijan-European Union relations including Azerbaijan-Estonia relations Ambassador expressed satisfaction with the continuous development of political and economic relations between Estonia and Azerbaijan based on mutual benefit and respect.
Various videos presenting Azerbaijan’s economy and culture were shown, featured with Azerbaijani music. Special editions of Azerbaijani magazines dedicated to the 100th Anniversary of Azerbaijan Democratic Republic were presented to the guests at the end of the event.